The greatest exodus from Spain this century was that resulting from the Civil War of 1936–9. The collapse of the Catalan front at the end of January 1939 caused a massive flow of Republican refugees across the French border, with 470,000 people entering France between 27 January and 10 February. Another 15,000 left for north Africa, and 6,000 for the Soviet Union, in addition to the 3,000 children already evacuated there in 1937. Among Latin American countries, Mexico received the largest number of Republican refugees: some 22,000 settled there between 1939 and 1948.
   Though the cohort entering France contained men, women and children from all age groups, there was a predominance of young men from the defeated Republican army, mostly from Catalonia and Aragon. A large proportion consisted of civil servants from the central and autonomous regional governments, and the upper echelons of the political parties and the trade unions, including Republicans, socialists, communists and members of the UGT and CNT. The scale of the exodus constituted a serious problem for the French government, which tried to force as many as possible to return to Spain or move on to other countries. In addition, after 1940, the Vichy regime arrested prominent Republicans living in France and handed them over to face execution by Francoist firing squads, the most notorious case being that of the former President of the Catalan Generalitat, Lluis Companys. Many others were picked up by the Gestapo and sent to their deaths in concentration camps, except for the few who were fortunate enough to survive, such as Jorge Semprún. The combined effect of deporta-tions and voluntary departures was that by 1945 the initial cohort was reduced to 150,000.
   In Mexico, in August 1945, the Republican government in exile had been reconstituted, and remained in being until 1977, enjoying official recognition by Mexico and Yugoslavia. The political parties in exile were also reorganized, especially in France and Mexico. One of the most abiding legacies of the exodus, however, was the enrichment of literary, scientific and artistic life in other countries, notably Britain, France, the US, and the states of Latin America, by the presence, either temporary or permanent, of leading Spanish academics, writers and intellectuals, such as Max Aub, Francisco Ayala, Américo Castro, José Ortega y Gasset and Antonio Rodríguez-Moñino. These were supplemented by a younger generation of those who had spent their formative years in Spain, but found the repressive atmosphere of the Franco regime intolerable, such as Juan Goytisolo.
   Further reading
   - Abellán, J.L. (1976) El exilio español de 1939, Madrid: Taurus, 6 vols (a basic reference work).
   - Cuesta, J. and Bermejo, B. (1996) Emigración y exilio. Españoles en Francia, 1936-1946, Madrid: Eudema (papers of a 1991 conference on the topic, giving an up-to-date account).
   - Rubio, J. (1977) La emigración de la guerra civil de 1936-1939, Madrid: San Martín, 3 vols (a classic study; the third volume includes a very interesting documentary appendix).
   - Various authors (1982) El exilio español en México, 1939-1982, Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica (an important symposium by various authors, including historical articles and personal testimonies, as well as a biobibliographical section on Republican intellectuals in Mexico).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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